Defense

May 21, 2014

Army inducts self-propelled howitzer into low-rate initial production

Tags:
Sam Tricomo
Anniston, Ala.

The M109A7 and M992A3, formerly known as the Army’s Paladin Integrated Management program, were both inducted into low-rate initial production during a ceremony at Anniston Army Depot, Ala., May 14, 2014.

Air and sea power are critical strategic military assets, but land power is undeniable in its ability to compel and deter adversaries.

The Army’s capability to project land power grew this week with the induction of the M109A7 self-propelled howitzer and its companion M992A3 carrier ammunition tracked vehicle into low-rate initial production.

The M109A7 and M992A3, formerly known as the Army’s Paladin Integrated Management, known as PIM, program, were both inducted during a ceremony at Anniston Army Depot where Congressman Mike Rogers, Alabama’s third congressional district representative, described what the systems bring to the Army.

“If we have to fight, we want to make sure it’s not a fair fight. These systems ensure that it won’t be a fair fight,” Rogers said.

This summer M109A6 Paladin vehicles and M992A2 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicles will be shipped to Anniston Army Depot where they will be disassembled to provide cab structures, overhauled gun and cannon assemblies, and other vehicle components to industry. The entirely new chassis, built at BAE Systems’ facility in York, Penn., will marry with the reworked Anniston components at the new BAE Systems production facility in Eglin, Okla., for final assembly.

Anniston Army Depot Commander Col. Brent Bolander welcomed the systems and pointed to his depot’s skilled workforce as providing a valuable service to the Army.

“The work you will do on these systems will provide our warfighters with a centerpiece of Army readiness,” Bolander said.

The M109A7 and M992A3 entered Milestone C in October 2013, under the PIM program. They were first fielded, in 1963. For the past 50 years the platform has provided the Army with a highly mobile, armored combat support weapon capable of performing a role in nearly every function: move and maneuver, fires, protection and mission command. In short, artillery systems like the M109A7 and M992A3 represent an in-theater capability that delivers a volume of explosive destruction that otherwise only bombers and precision weapons costing considerably more would be able to deliver. But decades of upgrades to the platform show that it has reached its limit especially in terms of space, weight and power-cooling, or SWaP-C.

“This modernization effort represents a significant upgrade which includes buying back space, weight and power-cooling, to ensure the system remains relevant with room to add new capabilities in the future,” said Lt. Col. Michael Zahuranic, the Army’s product manager for self-propelled howitzer systems.

While the vehicle’s cannon will remain unchanged, the M109A7 will sport a brand new chassis, engine, transmission, suspension, steering system. These components are also found on the Army’s Bradley Fighting Vehicles, thus increasing commonality and reducing logistical footprints and cost. Improved survivability is also a main line of effort in the upgrade program.

The vehicle will also feature a new 600-volt on-board power system, which is designed to accommodate emerging technologies and future requirements, as well as current requirements like the Battlefield Network. The electronic gun drive system, which was developed for the cancelled Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, NLOS-C, provides significant improvement to firing operations. Also, the on-board power system ensures the platform will have enough SWaP-C growth potential to last until 2050.

“This [M109A7 Paladin program] is really an example of acquisition done right,” said Brig. Gen. David G. Bassett, the Army’s program executive officer for Ground Combat Systems. “I want everyone here at Anniston to know that they are essential in delivering critical capabilities to our warfighters.”

BAE Systems Vice President and General Manager, Mark Signorelli, commanded a M109A3 when he was in the Army and said he took exceptional pride in being part of the system’s upgrade.

“It’s with great pride that I also can see the integration of emerging technologies from our work on earlier developmental artillery programs. I know I speak for everyone at BAE Systems when I tell you how excited we are to begin work on the new M109A7,” Signorelli said.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines December 22, 2014

News: Report: DOD bomb hunters pried into U.S. firms, citizens - During some of the bloodiest days of U.S. combat in Afghanistan and the roadside bomb threat there, the Pentagon’s Joint IED Defeat Organization “improperly collected” intelligence on U.S. citizens and corporations to try to stem the threat, a Pentagon Inspector General report has found.  ...
 
 

News Briefs December 22, 2014

U.K., Canadian military leaves to join Ebola fight Reservists and troops from Britain and Canada have left for Sierra Leone to help in the battle to contain the Ebola virus outbreak. British officials said Dec. 20 that 16 reservists and 100 regular military personnel left on a morning flight from the Brize Norton military airbase....
 
 
Boeing photograph

Boeing, Malaysia Airlines celebrate 100th 737 delivery

Boeing photograph Boeing and Malaysia Airlines celebrated the direct delivery of the airline’s 100th 737 aircraft at an event in Seattle. Shown here Aminuddin Zakaria, senior vice president, airline engineering group, Malaysi...
 

 

Navy helicopter crashes in Kuwait; all crewmembers ok

A U.S. Navy MH-60S helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 (HSC 26) crashed at 11:22 a.m., EST, Dec.21, while on an overland training flight at Camp Buehring, Kuwait. All six personnel aboard the helicopter survived the crash and were transported to nearby medical facilities for evaluation. Three of the six crewmembers sustained minor...
 
 

AMC relocates KC-135 simulator

As Air Mobility Command fields the KC-46A Pegasus, displaced KC-135 Stratotanker pilot simulators will be relocated across the Total Force to maximize simulator access across the mobility enterprise. As a result, AMC, in coordination with the Air National Guard, recently identified four KC-135 pilot flight simulators and one KC-135 Boom Operator Weapons System Trainer to...
 
 

SpaceX completes first milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>